After walking past the outlet in takashimaya for years we finally gave the one in Liang Court a whirl after contemplating between all the other restaurants there. We really liked Tampopo! The menu is extensive and each item is well-prepared (well, apart from the grilled squid).
We started with the tamago sushi which was only like $2 or something. Hard to find in the menu, and I think it may not even be available in the Orchard branch. This was as good as tamago sushi can be I suppose.
They had (in addition to all the usual flavours like shoyu and tonkotsu) Kani ramen – which was crab meat ramen in a prawn/crab based broth. It was amazing! Like hay mee, but better because it had lots of crab. I think they used mock crab meat but it tasted really authentic and crabby :D
We also tried the truffle fried rice with black pork (one of the restaurant’s signatures) and the fried rice was amazing. It had lots of wok hei and truffle scent, and the black pork chunks in it were tender. I think this would be good with foie gras as well, but it’s really perfect the way it is.
The grilled squid was a little tough and the insides didn’t seem to be cleaned properly. It also didn’t seem that fresh and it was one of the things that nobody really wanted to finish.
Their black pork gyoza in a skillet was also a little porky tasting (not in a good way – more like in a dirty way) and they didn’t serve it with nearly enough vinegar/chilli oil.
Another of Tampopo’s specialties is their Katsu layered pork – it comes in 6 different styles (cheese, mentaiko, etc.) SL chose the tako style katsu and the pork layers really makes pork katsu taste more delicate than the chunky slabs of meat that are more colourless and rustic.
After dinner we headed to Dulcet Studio (I think they are co-owned by Tampopo) for some dessert. They are famous for their scoop cake and also the humongous cream puffs that don’t use choux pastry but are filled with incredibly fresh Japanese vanilla custard cream (like those in Beard papa). We tried the green tea chiffon cake – they like to ice their chiffon cakes with whipped cream frosting. It was quite good although I think the icing is slightly unnecessary.
The rose chiffon cake frosting has a hint of cream cheese in it, which turned me off the entire cake. If you like cream cheese or cheesecake in general you might like this. It’s bright pink though, which would be all food coloring, and the rose taste is not that strong, unlike the ispahan desserts in Paris. I have a pretty good recipe for a strawberry-rose cake (since strawberries in Singapore were really cheap last month) that I will post once I get the time.
All in all, I really liked the food at Tampopo and also at Dulcet Studio (I took home a matcha swiss roll which was really good and also 2 cream puffs) and they give a 10% discount coupon for your next meal there if you pay by DBS cards and order about $50 worth of food. The menu is so extensive and the little bit that we tried was so good it will be hard to try everything else since we’ll probably visit only when we’re craving truffle fried rice or layered katsu.